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July 2015 Archives

Children Sent to Jail in Case of Extreme Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a serious problem. In a troubling case out of Michigan, three young children between the ages of 9 and 14, were each sent to juvenile detention after failing to speak to or have lunch with their father. The judge in the contentious case, Lisa Gorcyca, held all three in contempt of court for violating her direct order that they spend time with their dad.

Ways to Detect Signs of a Cheating Spouse

Last week it was revealed that the website, Ashley Madison.com had been hacked by a group calling itself "The Impact Team". In case you're not familiar with it, Ashley Madison is a well-known haven for spouses looking to cheat, and its slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." Yes, it's a repugnant, but apparently lucrative, business.

Can a Jury Decide Your Massachusetts Divorce Case?

Most people going through a Massachusetts divorce are not familiar with the court system and therefore don't know what to expect procedurally in their cases. For example, many people question whether judges or juries will preside over their divorce cases. Many people have heard that they have the right to jury trial, not everyone understands that only applies to certain court cases and not all of them. 

Parent's Motives are Important in Child Custody Relocation Cases

If a "typical" child custody case can be consider an emotional and expensive roller coaster, then a "relocation" child custody case can be like a Giga Coaster in terms of emotional turmoil, time commitment, attorney's fees, costs, and Guardian ad Litem fees. Child custody relocation cases usually occur in one of three circumstances following an initial separation or divorce: (1) the custodial parent decides to get remarried to a new spouse who lives in another city, state, or even country; (2) the custodial parent decides he/she wants to move in order to be closer to his/her family members; or (3) the custodial parent or his/her new spouse desires to move to pursue a better/unique employment or educational opportunity which cannot be pursued in the hometown of the child.

Modification of a Divorce Decree

The ultimate result of a divorce action is the Divorce Decree, which finalizes all issues of the parties' marriage. It can be a long and tiring journey to get to that point, but it usually marks the end of the road. However, in some cases there may be interest among one or both parties to amend their Divorce Decree, which begs the question whether a Divorce Decree be modified once it has been finalized.

Military Members May Name Special Needs Trusts as Beneficiaries of Survivor Benefit Plan

On December 15, 2014, Congress passed the Disabled Military Child Protection Act. This legislation grants military members the authority to name a "payback" special needs trust as a beneficiary of Survivor Benefit Plans (SBP). 

The Importance of Full Financial Disclosure in a Massachusetts Divorce

One of the time-consuming parts of the divorce process is filling out and filing the Financial Statement. Every party going through a divorce must file one with the Court, listing all of his or her assets and debts. It is understandable that you may not want to fill out the paperwork, or at least not fill it out completely. For instance, you may prefer to keep certain assets or debts hidden from your spouse. Though this may seem like a good idea in the short term, it will definitely hurt in the long run, because you have a legal obligation to make a full financial disclosure in a divorce. But why?

Why You Need to Watch Your Digital Footprint

Divorce is changing and developing right alongside society. Anyone who has been through a divorce can tell you that it is often a lengthy and emotional process. Cases with high conflict are even more arduous.

Add electronically stored information (ESI) to the picture and you've got the recipe for a perfect storm. ESI, or electronically stored information, can be used as evidence in a variety of cases. Digital forensics is used to collect, analyze and report on the information. For many computer forensics experts, a digital footprint is the starting place to collect ESI.

50/50 Parenting Plans

A lot of people in throws of a divorce think that they want a 50/50 parenting plan. It sounds like a great idea - fair, even, and good for the children. And it is all these things. However, it is also hard to make it work unless both parents are both flexible and committed to the plan.

How to Dismiss a Complaint for Divorce

The domicile statute in Massachusetts can be surprisingly confusing, especially when couples often own multiple homes, live in separate cities for professional reasons, or have recently moved to Massachusetts. All of these situations are governed by M.G.L. c. 208, § 4 and the "exceptions" to the domicile statute contained in § 5.

Spanking Your Kids, Within Limits, is Sanctioned by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

In the case, Commonwealth v. Dorvil, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled for the first time that parents may not be held criminally liable for the use of "reasonable" force in disciplining their children, saying the punishment "remains firmly woven into our nation's social fabric."

Using Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to Collect Alimony and Child Support Arrears

In the world of family law, few problems compare to a person's failure to receive court-ordered alimony and/or child support on a regular, recurring basis. The enforcement and collection of support arrears can be difficult, expensive and time consuming. One overlooked remedy is to tap a non-custodial parent's retirement plan for unpaid support. The technical term is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO. Such QDROs apply to both Defined Benefit Plans (traditional pensions) and Defined Contribution Plans (401-K Plans and the like). Even if the non-custodial parent has lost his or her job, a QDRO remains available for support collection purposes.

Law Offices of Renee Lazar
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Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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